Iskanderkul – Lake Alexander

Sughd Province

Gissar Range

Fann Mountains


August 16, 2019

Sunny and Hot


The guidebook says that at midnight, Alexander the Great rides Bucephalus across the inky black lake.  (Iskander in Tajik is Alexander. Kul is lake.)

During the day, the Iskanderkul is an intensely bright shade of turquoise.

The outflow maintains the same fluorescent hue as it crashes downstream to form the Iskander Darya and then over a 40m high (131 feet) waterfall.

For youngsters, the downhill and then uphill hike across the dirt and rock-strewn path to the waterfall is a non-event.  For seniors, it’s a dizzying huff and puff for the roundtrip of 2.4k (1.5 miles) at 2195m (7200 feet or 1.4 miles high).   My guide Akbar helps to maintain my vertical axis.

The three-hour ride from Dushanbe to Iskanderkul traverses the dazzling Gissar Range of the Fann Mountains. 

An outstanding excursion from Dushanbe.


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